Tag: Dreams from my Father

Barack Obama – The Audacity of Hope | Review

Title: The Audacity of Hope

Author: Barack Obama

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 376

Rating: 8/10

 

Barack Obama - The Audacity of Hope

Barack Obama – The Audacity of Hope

 

It took me longer to get properly into The Audacity of Hope than it did for Dreams From My Father, and I almost considered abandoning my attempt to read it. I’m glad that I didn’t, though – sure, it can seem a little scary at first, particularly if you don’t know too much about America, its history and its government, but Obama has a way with words that helps him to explain even complex concepts simply – that said, I still have no idea what filibustering is.

You have to hand it to the guy – it’s clear by now that he has a gift for public speaking, but he’s a truly talented writer, too. From a non-fiction writer, all that you ask is that they make their subject as easy to understand as possible, and Obama does that with all of the flair of a storyteller. In fact, the success of the book as a whole is largely down to the fact that it’s treated almost like an extended series of anecdotes, and it certainly makes it easier to remember the points that the president was attempting to convey.

It also lays clear, once and for all, what Obama’s views are on a number of controversial subjects including the Iraq war, abortion and, of course, equal rights for minorities. None of it is especially groundbreaking, especially now after he’s been in office for so long, but it’s still a great way to get a glimpse inside the mind of the most powerful man on earth.

Distilled into a short paragraph, Obama’s views are essentially that we should all treat each other with the respect that we all deserve, that we should aim to compromise if necessary to develop a better future, and that at the end of the day, the audacity of hope and the power of individual people coming together under a common cause will be enough to make the world a better place. Let’s hope he’s right – I certainly agree with him, and it’s fascinating to see how he maintained his position as best as he could on the subjects that he mentions.

 

Barack Obama

Barack Obama

 

Click here to buy The Audacity of Hope.

 


Barack Obama – Dreams from my Father | Review

Title: Dreams from my Father

Author: Barack Obama

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 446

Rating: 8/10

 

Barack Obama - Dreams from my Father

Barack Obama – Dreams from my Father

 

You might have heard of Mr. Obama before – you know, he’s the president of that country that everyone keeps banging on about. This is his first book, written and released before he even got in to politics, and created at the behest of a publishing company after he became the first black president of the Harvard Law Review.

In many ways, that seems to make the book somehow pure, as though it’s a preserved distilling of the president’s personality when he was a younger man, and it’s pretty easy to see how his early life is still shaping him, even today. In fact, after reading this, I’ve found that it feels as though I know him, as though I could predict how he’ll react in different situations.

But really, that’s not what this book is about – he may be the president now, but that wasn’t always the case, and his book looks back at his early life and examines his feelings towards the father that was never there, his African roots and what being a black American actually means. It’s a fascinating study of race relations in America in the 1970s and 1980s, and what’s more poignant is the fact that while Obama does indeed look at the differences between black people and white people, he eventually concludes that the colour of our skin doesn’t define us.

 

Barack Obama

Barack Obama

 

That’s not to say that he doesn’t face struggles along the way, though – Obama also examines his own biases, and the unintentional way in which we come to judgements all of the time. He himself is guilty of stereotyping, but he tries to correct himself and that in itself is honourable.

Of course, it’s also fascinating to read about his exploits as a kid, and his trips to Kenya and Indonesia, or his work in Chicago trying to make the city a better place before he eventually applied for and was accepted in to Harvard. Turns out that Barack is a pretty good writer, and it shows – it was of a professional quality, with no typos or unnatural sounding sentences. Even the dialogue that he recreates sounds natural and fits perfectly with the character, who are of course real people.

Overall, I’d say that this is well worth a read whether you’re an American or not, and whether or not Obama is still president by the time that you read this. The identity of the author doesn’t really matter – the book speaks for itself, and it has a lot of stuff to say to you, too.

 

Barack Obama Quote

Barack Obama Quote

 

Click here to buy Dreams from my Father.

 


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